HP's touchscreen laptop looming on the horizon, out come the leaks of an ASUS touchscreen lappie scheduled for launch in the first half of 2009. Touchscreen Eee PCs too (finally, right?) if DigiTimes' sources at panel makers are correct (which they tend to be with regard to ASUS). According to the Taiwanese industry rag, ASUS will likely use either a 12.1-inch or 11.6-inch touchscreen panel developed by AU Optronics (AUO) or Chi Mei Optoelectronics (CMO). What's odd here is the claim by sources that the touch-panel notebooks "are expected to take advantage of Windows 7" and presumably the new Microsoft OS's multi-touch capabilities. Strange, since Windows 7 isn't officially expected until sometime in early 2010 -- a date looking more and more like a publicly padded goal to avoid the bashing Microsoft received for its Vista delays. The whispers certainly add a bit more credence to rumors of a 2009 release as expressed by Bill Gates himself, or more specifically June 3rd, 2009 as allegedly marked in the internal Microsoft calendar.